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Translation of De Plantis Aegypti

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De Plantis Aegypti is a medical botany text from 1592, written by Prospero Alpini in Latin. In this text, Alpini details a variety of plants native and grown in Egypt, how they are grown, how they are processed, what they

De Plantis Aegypti is a medical botany text from 1592, written by Prospero Alpini in Latin. In this text, Alpini details a variety of plants native and grown in Egypt, how they are grown, how they are processed, what they look like, and what if any edible and medical uses are documented. This project focused on transcribing and editing the Latin text, translating the Latin text into English, and comparing the medical claims to the modern scientific literature. This is the first translation of this text into English or any other language. Alpini also wrote two other books, which also have never been translated. The intended goal was to demonstrate that renaissance scholars understood medicine well, if not the mechanisms through which those medicines worked. After analyzing the modern scientific literature on the plants mentioned within the text, it was found that every medical use referenced in the text was either directly supported, indirectly supported, or there was no data from the literature. In other words, none of the medical uses were found to be disproved. On the other hand, quite a few of the plants actually had similar efficacies as modern pharmaceuticals. In addition to the notes on the modern science, there are also quite a few notes based on the grammar and the orthography of the text. This project is but a sampling of the plants mentioned De Plantis Aegypti, there are dozens more, which I plan on translating and doing a similar analysis on at a later date.

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2016-05

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Royal Bastards of Medieval and Renaissance England: A Literary Analysis of Illegitimacy in Le Morte d'Arthur, King Lear, and Game of Thrones

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The relationship between a fictional character and its reader is one built on sympathy. Likable characters who combat personal adversity or who possess culturally acceptable and praised characteristics at the time of the fictional work's publication garner compassion from its

The relationship between a fictional character and its reader is one built on sympathy. Likable characters who combat personal adversity or who possess culturally acceptable and praised characteristics at the time of the fictional work's publication garner compassion from its audience. Does the same kind of reader reaction occur when characters of an unfavorable social status begin to transgress specified cultural attitudes to better themselves? In this paper, I examine the role of three literary characters of illegitimate birth: Mordred in Sir Malory's Le Morte d' Arthur, Edmund in William Shakespeare's King Lear and Jon Snow in George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones. I question how negative cultural attitudes at the time of each work's publication affect the way each character conducts himself whether as an agent of assumed social chaos or an autonomous bastard whose actions strive to transcend his undesirable birth rank. Each of these three characters represents specific types of bastards. Both Mordred and Edmund are bastard villains. Mordred's actions are pure unforgiving evil, and his destruction is self-indulgent and justified, to the audience, due to his illegitimate birth. Edmund is more complex, as he emotionally manipulates both the reader and other characters in the play, vacillating between a victimized bastard and a power hungry political player. Jon Snow is least like Mordred and Edmund. He endures the typical Renaissance era social and familial ostracism, and works to separate himself wholly from his illegitimate reputation while subconsciously seeking to prove himself worthy of legitimate respect.

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2014-05

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An Exploration of Renaissance Self-fashioning through Clothing

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A look into the historical significance of clothing and clothing construction to self-fashioning.

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2013-05